Press Release

PrideFest Milwaukee opens for 27th sensational year

Milwaukee's most fabulous festival runs June 6, 7, 8

By - Jun 6th, 2014 02:01 pm


Milwaukee, WI –  With beautiful weather, an incredible entertainment line-up, amazing community support, devoted volunteers, diverse programming, and marriage equality finally within reach in Wisconsin, the forecast for the 27th annual PrideFest Milwaukee weekend is brighter than ever before!
PrideFest Milwaukee is proud to host the nation’s largest showcase of national, regional and local LGBT talent at Henry W. Maier Festival Park June 6, 7 and 8.  The festival grounds open today at 3 p.m. for a three-day weekend celebrating LGBT culture, community, and inclusion.

Headline performances include:

Friday, June 6:   Bruce Vilanch, Chad Michaels, Cazwell

Saturday, June 7:   Steve Grand, Mary Lambert, Big Freedia, Macy Gray

Sunday, June 8:  Dangerous Muse, Lisa Lampanelli, Sandra Bernhard

Over the three-day weekend, these headliners will be joined by nearly 100 national, regional and local performers on a dozen stages throughout the festival grounds.  Preview our full entertainment line-up.

“Every year, we try to create the perfect blend of new and returning talent, of familiar faces and new discoveries,” said Kate Sherry, festival co-producer. “With this year’s line-up, we have truly outdone ourselves.  We are proud to bring many of these performers to Milwaukee for the first time ever.”

PrideFest Milwaukee has grown three times in the past three years, adding the popular Wominz Spot stage in 2012 and the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center Loft stage in 2013.  This year, the festival launches the Rainbow Stage at the U.S. Cellular area on the north end of the grounds, which will feature incredible DJ talent (including Milwaukee nightlife legends DJ Tonya, DJ Tyrone and DJ Kimberly Ann) for an outdoor dance party.  The Rainbow Stage will also host “Orgullo Latino,” a special Latin-themed performance from the House of Brooklyn Entertainment, on Sunday, June 8.

This year’s festival comes at a critical moment in time, when many LGBT Americans have much to be proud of.

While more and more states extended the freedom to marry to all citizens, Wisconsin’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was unchallenged until February 2014, when the ACLU of Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit against the state. Since the filling, seven additional states have overturned their bans against same-sex marriage.  As PrideFest’s gates open today, local media reports that a legal decision in Wisconsin is “imminent.”

“As we head into this weekend, hope and anticipation are sky-high,” said Scott Gunkel, president of PrideFest Milwaukee. “Wisconsin stands at a crossroads in LGBT history, and momentum grows stronger every day. This could be the year we make our moment.”

Festival goers will have the option of adding $1 to their ticket purchases to support the American Civil Liberties Union in their critical battle for marriage equality in Wisconsin.  Learn more about the plaintiffs furiously fighting for the freedom to marry at the PrideFest website.

In addition to mainstage entertainment, the festival offers a Dance Pavilion featuring international DJ talent, as well as Health & Wellness, Marketplace, Youth, Family, Arts and Culture, History, athletic, family, safety and women’s-focused programming, and dozens of food and beverage vendors, on permanent festival grounds at Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront.

PrideFest Milwaukee proudly honors last year’s ticket prices with no increase at any level of admission.

While online / advance ticket sales have now ended, the festival again offers the popular three-day, $30 weekend pass at the gate on opening day.  Single-day gate admission prices will be $16. Single-day VIP passes, which includes access to the exclusive VIP Deck, will be $100 advance, or $225 or the three-day weekend. The PrideFest Milwaukee box office is open from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

PrideFest Milwaukee is grateful for the partnership of the Pabst / Riverside / Turner Hall group and the BMO Harris Bradley Center in creating a regional pride destination for 2014.  For weekend travel considerations, see the Visit Milwaukee Destination Pride website.


For up-to-the-minute PrideFest news throughout the year, follow us on Facebook and  Twitter

Without the generous support of our community, PrideFest Milwaukee would not be possible.  We welcome performers, volunteers, vendors, sponsors and media partners to be part of the 2014 festival operation.  To learn more about these opportunities, visit our website, contact us at or call 1-414-272-3378.

About Us

The mission of PrideFest is to celebrate the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture and community. PrideFest, Inc is a 501c4 nonprofit organization, compliant with all State of Wisconsin and IRS rules.

PrideFest is accomplished through the work of the Board of Directors, which oversees year-round organizational business, and the Production Team, which plans and implements the day-to-day operations of the weekend festival. Each year, this unpaid volunteer team is committed to securing all resources necessary to produce the safe, memorable and meaningful experience you deserve.

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